I read your article about reconnecting to yoga about lockdown (April 2023) and it made me cry, I think mainly from relief that someone else felt like me. Up until October 2021, I was working as a nurse so worked throughout lockdowns. By August 2021, I felt burnt out so I applied and got a job working from home thinking it would help me reconnect with myself and allow an improved work-life balance. This did not happen. I found myself becoming more disconnected and I struggled to do my daily practice and meditation. Then between May and August 2022, I lost six very close family members, which led to what I thought at the time was depression. I took time off from work and started on antidepressants.
Life appeared to be getting back to normal, so I came off the medication which seemed to clear my head. I think I had been hiding: my world had shrunk, I did not want to socialise, and when I did, I started to drink alcohol to cope with being out. I had no motivation or anything. I’d been attending class once a week, but this was not helping as I was trying to force myself, and then thinking I'd failed.
So two weeks ago I sat quietly by myself when I realised how unhappy I was and that I needed to reconnect with my life again. I have handed my notice in at work, which was a weight off my shoulders. I have returned to yoga classes and have let myself be a beginner; not to throw myself into poses, but to be at the lowest level to ‘feel’ the poses and the power of yoga again. I feel a different person. Reading the article made me realise it’s not just me.
I think the mental health implications of the pandemic and lockdowns will be with us for a long time but I don't think they are being recognised enough by health professionals or even by ourselves. Thank you for such an amazing article.
Helen, by email